The following is purely an opinion, I’m nothing more than a fan of NUFC.
Here we are, coming into the 14th week? The FOURTEENTH week! Things seem to be coming to a conclusion only to be set back by letters, complaints and outrage. Fiancés, sports channels, MPs and journalists have all had their say. Still it drags on.
I have tweeted my feelings about the current state of affairs, along the lines of “I’m at the stage where I don’t care if they pass or fail the takeover, I just want a decision!”. That’s not strictly true, I really want this takeover. Despite all the outrage and sports washing claims, I still want it, not only that we need it. Given the 13 years of neglect the club has faced it will take huge sums of money to make the club a fit and proper Premier
League squad and outfit, never mind a one which may challenge for trophies.
It should also be mentioned the investment that could follow not just into NUFC, but the region as a whole could benefit from this. So, now I have firmly attached my colours to the pro takeover flagpole….
In some other musings about our potential new owners, this piece will look at PIF as I’m fairly sure the Reuben Brothers and Amanda Staveley aren’t causing too many issues being part of the consortium.
As a fan base we have started coming under attack or at the very leas having questions thrown our way that a professor of middle east conflict would need time to answer. I’m a simple Northumbrian, with little or no knowledge of the going on’s in these far away lands, with that in mind I decided to attempt to understand or at least read into PIF a little bit. The fan base will come under further scrutiny and questions in the future, my main stance recently is to distance myself from engaging with certain journalists for two reasons;
- I have realised I don’t know enough to engage in these discussions.
- Clicks/clickbait, one journalist (the one who shall not be named), in particular started with some valid points only to start having sly digs at the fan base and in an attempt to increase traffic through his Twitter page.
However, I want to concentrate on our fan base, we are a passionate bunch and if you do right or seem to want to do right by us, we will accept you with open arms and defend you to the hilt. It’s the way we are we can’t help it.
What I want to address is some on Twitter are very quick to throw out one, two or all of the following:
- PIF and the KSA government are legally separate.
- MBS isn’t buying us.
- No one in PIF can be linked to piracy in the KSA.
- Sheffield United didn’t have this much scrutiny.
First of all, PIF is the sovereign wealth fund of KSA, that is an undeniable truth. A quick look at the PIF website shows that it is mostly made up of ministers that are in government positions so whilst legally on a bit of paper KSA and PIF might be separate which will really help the takeover, in reality there isn’t much difference between the two. A sovereign wealth fund is responsible for investing on behalf of the government/Sovereign ruler/ country to ensure the assets of the state are diverse and flourish. They are the same thing in all but name which should be fine for the O&D tests but a lot less so from a moral stand point which doesn’t come into the O&D tests, thankfully! This is where we meet opposition on twitter people are arguing the morality of PIF and the human rights violations KSA carries out and I’m sorry but ‘legally they aren’t the same’ doesn’t cut it as an argument.
The second point MBS isn’t buying us, again a quick glance to the PIF website shows he is in fact the chairman of PIF the headman! So, in some essence he is in fact buying us, just not as an individual, although it should be noted he is the sovereign ruler controlling the sovereign wealth fund. Again, I don’t know enough about the inner workings of KSA government and SWF to make any claims, but that has to be fairly close to his own money? That’s for journalists and lawyers to look into. What I can be fairly certain of is PIF will have ironed out all these intricacies, so on paper they will look all rosy and squeaky clean. I would imagine on paper it will appear that MBS will be very distant from the takeover. But ‘on paper’ can hide truths and what actually is happening. We as a fanbase need to be aware of who is on the board of PIF because this will all be thrown at us if the green light is given (phrase of the moment), again to throw back at agitators ‘but it isn’t MBS’ gives them fuel to patronise the poor stupid Geordies who don’t know any better and continue their ‘let me tell you how it is and how you should feel’ attitudes. The reason PIF has been set up so ‘legally it isn’t the same thing’, is to avoid scrutiny and avoid any ties to any
suspected illegal activity i.e piracy and worse.
The piracy links, this is when things get pretty murky pretty quick. The WTO report was quite clear that they couldn’t prove that anyone at government level was involved with piracy and went on to say they didn’t do enough to prevent it. The murky part comes in with how they dealt with Bein and Beoutq. Were they aware of this large-scale piracy that beoutq were carrying out, almost certainly its hard to imagine how they could be ignorant of it and they did nothing about it for quite a long period of time, could compensation to Bein be part of the current hold up? No idea! I will say I think the fact it hasn’t been rejected yet shows they are still working on it which has to be a good thing? Doesn’t it??
The last point about Sheffield United, you can’t compare the two, at the start I made this statement more than once. Put it this way, if Boris Johnson declared an illegal war or committed an atrocity, it would be wholly unfair to hold this against a British billionaire who wanted to buy a football club just because he is from the same country, you could however apply extra scrutiny to consortium made up of Boris Johnson and fellow cabinet members as they made the decisions to commit the crimes.
As a fan base I think we need to become more aware of who and what PIF are, this is only the start there will be more and more sports washing stories and letters written even if it signed off and goes through. Ignorance isn’t our friend. One thing I implore all fans to do is block journalist who resort to petty remarks to get comments and likes. We have no say in who owns our club, as sad as it might be it is the play thing of billionaires, we haven’t chosen PIF to buy the club and we are under no obligation to all of a sudden pick up flags and become human rights activists and fight for the cause. Trade deals are done on an annual basis to the tune of billions and no one kicks up a fuss. For years we have implored the media to highlight Mike
Ashley and his running (into the ground) of NUFC and we were pretty much told unanimously to sit down, be quiet and be grateful we have such a good owner. I’ll be taking that approach now, I will sit down, have a cup of tea, be quiet and be grateful we are getting new owners.
Also, if your one of the fan’s giving abuse to the fiancé of Jamaal Kashoggi, have a word with yourself you are making yourself and the fan base look like morons. I’ve read the theories that she isn’t really his fiancé, I don’t know what to believe, but the world is looking at us and abusive comments will come back to haunt us. Her letters shouldn’t make a difference to legal PL tests they are not a moral test.
Hopefully week 14 will be the lucky week!